A motivational sign every SEC team should hang in its weight room
The offseason is officially here. Which means it’s poster time. Well, kind of.
Every offseason involves hours spent on strength and conditioning. And those hours tend to involve mental focus as well as physical focus. Which means every team is going to be staring at their fair share of motivational posters and signs as they bench-press their way toward spring practice.
But hey, we’re creative people here at SDS. We might not keep up in the weight room, but we can keep up in the motivational poster department. Here’s what we’d tack up in each SEC weight room this spring.
Hey, it’s not exactly subtle. Alabama had performed to every expectation, had earned every accolade. Until they didn’t. Clemson smacked them in the mouth, and they’ll spend this winter healing their wounds and awaiting their shot at revenge, much like Clemson did in the past.
Incidentally, the idea of Alabama’s demise is comical. Look at the recruiting class. Look at the coaches who might have “44-16” tacked up in their offices too. The Tide had a bad game. Let’s not overreact. They’ll overreact enough for all of us.
Arkansas — “9/7/19”
Arkansas has lost 11 consecutive SEC games, but if their 2019 season is going to be appreciably better than 2018, the road to redemption truly starts in Week 2’s matchup at Ole Miss. Given the Razorbacks’ weak nonconference schedule, a win in Week 2 should leave them one more SEC victory away from bowl eligibility. But the road to all good things starts in Oxford.
Auburn — “63 X 15”
After a season in which their offense was one of the biggest disappointments in college football, Auburn went back to big-play passing in the Music City Bowl, easily putting up 63 points. They won’t put up 63 in every game in 2019, but if they play offense with the same attacking attitude, they’ll be much more like 2017 Auburn than 2018 Auburn … which could lead to some extra games (maybe even 15 total) at year’s end.
Florida — “Defend the Swamp”
Florida ends the season in the national top 10 and beat the tar out of Michigan. But one element that still feels off about this team was home losses to Kentucky and Missouri in 2018. Before the Gators can think about getting past UGA, they have to stop dropping home games.
Georgia — “14 and 0”
That’s not 14 wins and no losses heading into the National Championship Game, although they’d certainly take that. That’s 14 and 0 as in the lead they had and the points they scored the rest of the way in the final 27 minutes of the SEC Championship Game against Alabama.
Georgia led 28-14 early in the third quarter and didn’t score again.
For the second time in two years, Georgia biggest game included a solid second-half lead and a crunch time collapse. Making sure that doesn’t happen again is the key to their 2019 season.
Kentucky — “5-7”
That’s the record that a fair number of preseason prognosticators saw for Kentucky. The Wildcats won 5 games in 2018 as underdogs, and if they hope to continue their success in 2019, they’ll probably go back to the underdog role again. It’ll take at least one more big year in Lexington before expectations catch up with the Wildcats’ results.
LSU — “One More Stop”
Assuming the Tigers wouldn’t elect from the cheap shot crushing of QB Joe Burrow, the message they need is to deliver just a little more in 2019. Without question, 2018 was a fine season for LSU, but the Tigers team that came up short to Florida and couldn’t quite get the win over Texas A&M needs just a little bit more.
Mississippi State — “11/16/19”
State had the kind of massive physical team that was a decent passing game away from giving Alabama real trouble. Or, if you talk to State fans, a few shaky calls from doing so. The road to winning the West still goes through Tuscaloosa, and State could make a big statement in Joe Moorhead’s second year with this one.
Missouri — “Finish strong”
The Tigers haven’t won a bowl game since 2014, after a pair of non-bowl seasons and a pair of season-ending losses. Also, Mizzou’s untimed loss to Kentucky is the kind of thing they don’t want to suffer again in 2019, so the emphasis to finish both games and the season strong makes sense.
Ole Miss — “121”
That’s the Rebels total defense ranking in 2018. Yes, there were exactly seven FBS teams that allowed more offensive yardage than the Rebels. To be sure, there are other areas of their program that need improvement … but a massive overhaul of defensive attitude is a key for the team’s 2019 campaign, which, finally free of sanctions, is eligible to compete for a bowl bid.
South Carolina — “31-14”
That’s the advantage USC had over Florida entering the final minute of the third quarter of their eventual 35-31 loss to the Gators. If Carolina’s going to climb up the East pecking order, they have to stop coughing up leads and beating themselves in 2019.
Tennessee — “Get to 6”
After the disastrous 2017 season and a 5-7 season in 2018, the next step for UT is pretty obvious. The Vols need to string together 6 wins, and with a Notre Dame matchup next fall, that won’t be easy. There’s tons of reason for optimism for UT football, but the way back will be climbed slowly, and a sixth win in 2019 is key.
Texas A&M — “9/7/19”
A year after A&M nearly shocked the college football world by giving Clemson as much as it could handle, the Aggies will look to do the same in a road trip. This will be tough. Clemson hasn’t lost a nonconference home game since falling to South Carolina in 2012, but there’s an element of saying that Year 1 exceeded expectations, so Year 2 could really get jump-started in a hurry if A&M could win at Clemson.
Vanderbilt — “Tennessee X 12”
If Vandy could somehow approach every game like they do their annual matchup with the Vols, the James Franklin Era would be recreated in a hurry. As it is, his mastery of the Vols remains the biggest card up Derek Mason’s sleeve. If only he could get that effort every week.